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View Poll Results: How well trained is your parrot/parrots?
Not trained at all (doesnt step up) 1 3.57%
Steps up 4 14.29%
Obeys basic commands (step up, come, etc.) 12 42.86%
Obeys more advanced commands (no, stay, go to ___, etc.) 11 39.29%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2018, 01:36 PM
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Re: How (well) trained are your parrots? (poll)

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Uhhh.... not really, but kind of? We meet somewhere in the middle. She's never as bad as she wants to be, but never as good as I want her to be. She's still a proper brat about getting off her cage and has strong opinions about biting all new people to test their mettle. She likes to play "kisses" and "peekaboo" as well as imitate the microwave. We're still working on wearing a harness, and for funsies I'm trying to teach her to put colored rings on the corresponding peg by verbal cue. I probably need to get around to teaching her recall training.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2018, 06:16 PM
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Re: How (well) trained are your parrots? (poll)

For anyone wondering what I meant with training:
The bird follows commands such as "leave it" (we call it "no" in our house), "come here", "step up" etc. Doesnt have to do with tricks.

I have found that Sammy is very keen on working for his treats. His normal pellet is Beaphar Care + African Grey (also suitable for Poicephalus). He eats them when hungry but wont take them as a treat. He get treats (Harrisons Pepper Lifetime Coarse pellets (he loves them) as well as pine nuts, nutriberries and sunflower seeds), which he loves.

I've never had to remove his food from his cage to get him motivated, although if done correctly (not starving the bird, simply making them a bit hungry and more motivated) is IMO okay.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2018, 03:22 AM
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Re: How (well) trained are your parrots? (poll)

"making them more hungry and motivated" is exactly the same as very short term starving; the birds bodies may not sustain damage like it would from long-term starvation, but since most people are completely unable to judge how 'hungry' a bird is...it still borders on unnecessery cruelty.

Why not just keep it positive? Work for treats because you want to, not because your belly is rumbling and you are getting desperate to get *anything* to eat.

"whipping ... into shape" is an expression going obsolete fast - just like that mindset, thank goodness.


(and if you want obedience: get a dog, not a parrot )
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2018, 05:03 AM
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Re: How (well) trained are your parrots? (poll)

I agree with some, like Cairo and others, some birds like to work for their treats and some do not.
Salty has favorite tricks he will do for free and over and over , if asked to, and some he would just rather not do. Some times he even invents his own trick. Example, I taught him to walk through a smallish hoop ( baby toy). And then one day, after we had finished that and the hoop was lying on the table, Salty pikcked it up and flipped it over his head. I never showed him how to do that. Then a few months later, he figured out a second trick, by balancing the hoop on its end and just stepping through it. Both are actions he figured out and both he will do over and over, just because he likes it. There are other examples, but the point is will do these just 'cuz !
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2018, 07:18 AM
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Re: How (well) trained are your parrots? (poll)

I've never used hunger to 'persuade' my birds to comply. I just offer treats (sunflower seeds) in return for responding to my requests and that works just fine. I keep our sessions short so the birds don't grow discouraged or disinterested and things seem to be going well at the moment.

I'm a great believer in training, whether you teach tricks or not. There are some things a bird should just do on command and those include 'step up', 'perch', 'drop it' and 'come here'. I think it helps enormously if you can predict or even govern what your bird will do in certain circumstances for safety's sake. Recall training is absolutely necessary for flighted birds if only to prevent accidents that result from misadventure.

If I hadn't taught my Alex, Barney, how to put beads into a container on command, I may never have got him back when he escaped! I was able to prove he was mine by asking him to do his few little tricks and he did them, even after being AWOL for a month.

I'm a bit proud of my Rosetta's progress lately. Touch wood, but she's slowly slowing down and listening to me in fits and starts. She targets beautifully and comes when I call her 100% of the time. She will 'sing' (whistle) when I ask her to and is beginning to get the idea of what 'fetch' means (although she does the usual cocky thing and hurls her fetch-ball so that I have to chase after it - can almost hear her laughing at me!)

Following Stephen's advice, I've been working on her unfortunate tendency to bite like a pair of pincers and that seems to be paying off. Today, she didn't even bite me once! Great day in the mornin'! Mind you, Christmas has provided a massive amount of stiff cardboard for chewing and the wild corellas have been usefully dropping gum-shoots for me from the heights of our trees. The birds love these and will spend ages opening each bud or capsule to get the blossoms/honey or seeds out. I find it refreshing when 'setta chews the cardboard and not me.

I can see my birds' concentration while we're working and it's clear they enjoy doing it because they're more than willing to keep going, even when I stop the sessions. My aim is always to work toward a praise-based reward system rather than food. After my experience with Dominic and his fatty tumours, I'm not too happy to over-feed sunflower seeds for fear of such tumours arising.

I'd be interested to know what other members use for treats in training. I have used cut-up pieces of peanut, but have stopped that because of the fat content. 'Setta will work for grains of wheat, but they're quite difficult to hold in one hand and they're also hard to offer at the moment a treat needs to be given. The Beaks don't do wheat. I think they disdain it, knowing full-well I have a jar of sunflower seeds in my desk drawer. Likewise millet spray: not interested. They like cooked peas and corn, but those are too big and take too long for the birds to open and swallow. So yeah: what do others use?
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2018, 07:47 AM
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Re: How (well) trained are your parrots? (poll)

Me: unshelled cedernuts mostly ... I get away with it because macaws can really handle a lot of fat-- and Sunny really needs them, the greys want them- but are full (aka reach their quota that is still healthy) pretty fast, but also need a lot more time opening them ..so it sort of evens out during 'practice' .... but they will work for almost anything/ or nothing at all-- just praise will do, thank you very much!

Never underestimate the power of "OooOOoOOh arent you THE greatest parrot *ever*!!" (etc.etc.)
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2018, 07:54 AM
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Re: How (well) trained are your parrots? (poll)

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
I agree with some, like Cairo and others, some birds like to work for their treats and some do not.
Salty has favorite tricks he will do for free and over and over , if asked to, and some he would just rather not do. Some times he even invents his own trick. Example, I taught him to walk through a smallish hoop ( baby toy). And then one day, after we had finished that and the hoop was lying on the table, Salty pikcked it up and flipped it over his head. I never showed him how to do that. Then a few months later, he figured out a second trick, by balancing the hoop on its end and just stepping through it. Both are actions he figured out and both he will do over and over, just because he likes it. There are other examples, but the point is will do these just 'cuz !
Al, Salty has figured out a way to get you to spend 15 minutes each day with him and feed him treat after treat...who really has who trained
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2018, 09:07 AM
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Re: How (well) trained are your parrots? (poll)

I'm embarrassed to say that our dog or any of our three cats has only to bark or yowl once and lo, the door will be opened for them. I am extremely well-trained!
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2018, 01:52 PM
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Re: How (well) trained are your parrots? (poll)

Peanut knows the basic commands which is good for own safety and makes life easier. She always comes when called and steps up for me no matter the situation. She flew on top of my basset hound's head once and I was able to remove her immediately. Not that I think he would bite her, but she still doesnt belong on top of his head and it's good that I was easily able to remove her. She also knows the word no, but not in a good way. She has associated the word with doing a bad action like attacking my bare feet for example. So right before she goes for my feet she says "no". But it's just a play bite so I allow her to do it. By using the word no, I haven't persuaded her to not do the action. All I've done is taught her a cue word. Like another example would be that before she tries to get in my coffee cup she says "no" first. Oh well, Im not an expert bird trainer, but for the most part shes well behaved.

Last edited by Sandy19; 12-27-2018 at 02:08 PM.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2019, 09:21 AM
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Re: How (well) trained are your parrots? (poll)

Quote: Originally Posted by ChristaNL View Post
"making them more hungry and motivated" is exactly the same as very short term starving; the birds bodies may not sustain damage like it would from long-term starvation, but since most people are completely unable to judge how 'hungry' a bird is...it still borders on unnecessery cruelty.

Why not just keep it positive? Work for treats because you want to, not because your belly is rumbling and you are getting desperate to get *anything* to eat.

"whipping ... into shape" is an expression going obsolete fast - just like that mindset, thank goodness.


(and if you want obedience: get a dog, not a parrot )
By removing their food for a short while you arent starving them, so it cant really be called "short term starving". If they are without seeds/pellets in their cage for like 30 minutes they arent really going to starve.

Sammy is very obedient and obeys better than our dog (except when he is working).

Note: Sammy always has pellets and water in his cage
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